The Oklahoma State Cowboys needed to bounce back in a big way after Bedlam last week. The Cowboys put up 52 points on Oklahoma in a losing effort a week ago and seemingly saw their big season hopes dwindle on a night that started with so much promise. Mike Gundy had to figure out a way to rally the troops this week for another huge test. Iowa State has to be the most improved team in the Big 12 this year. If the Cowboys wanted a shot at any milestones this season a win was a must.
Off to a rough start:
The Cyclones were pegged to come into this game with a defensive minded approach. However, they had the lead with 4 minutes left in the first quarter, 14-0. Just as the hopes and dreams of all Pokes could be heard riding off into the sunset, the Cowboys started to bounce back.
Mason Rudolph threw a dime into the back of the end zone to get within one score about mid-way through the first quarter. Now was the time for the King of the Hill to take center stage. Justice Hill ran for three touchdowns on the day. Two of them were back to back scores in the second quarter to take the lead to 21-14 in favor of OSU.
The Cyclones haven’t had quit in them all year and this game would be no different. With 23 seconds on the clock, a massive push on a QB sneak surged the Cyclones back into a tie.
The Knockout Punch:
For the next quarter and a half the two teams were trading scores back and forth. However, with the score at 35-34 late in the fourth, David Montgomery broke two arm tackles and stretched for the goal line. Once again, you could feel the air being let out of the Pokes. Luckily for Oklahoma State, the players had other things in mind.
Rudolph Does It Again:
Rudolph wasn’t done just yet. He drove down field with six minutes to go in the game. On a third and forever, he sat in the pocket for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, he saw a small window in double coverage and slung the ball. The ball spiraled into the corner of the end zone, and Marcell Ateman was there to gobble it up. Just like that, they bounced back again and the game was tied up.
The Stoner Bubble:
The game was knotted at 42 and it was time to put all doubts to rest. Once more, Mason stepped up to the challenge. A simple bubble route on the 19 yard line to Dillon Stoner put Oklahoma State in front 49-42.
However, the Cyclones would just not go away. Their ensuing drive took them down deep into OK State territory. With only 33 seconds left, Zeb Noland threw a fade into the corner of the end zone. Defensive back A.J. Green went up for the ball along with ISU wider receiver, Marchie Murdock, and both fell to the ground with a share of the ball. After a short tussle and a long referee review, the interception and therefore touch-back was awarded and the game was over.
The Cyclones proved to be a tough test as they have been all year. The slow start really hurt momentum for Oklahoma State. They showed heart and guts with the bounce back late in the game.Hopefully, this game was a good tune up for another defensive strong-hold in Kansas State this week. Kick-off is set for 3:30 pm in Stillwater.
The Big 12 Championship game and a chance to play spoiler on Oklahoma’s berth into the playoffs is still very much in reach. The Cowboys hold their fate in their own hands. Who knows, maybe this year a 2 loss champion will make the playoffs.